Things to consider when changing your outdoor area

Over the last number of years we’ve seen a huge influx in the construction and implementation of outdoor areas and smoking areas in venues across Ireland. There are a number of different things to consider if you are thinking of introducing an outdoor area or improving your existing one.

  1. Make sure to speak to your local planning authority before the design or redesign of your outdoor area, many will need planning permission
  2. Make sure that your fire risk assessment takes into account your outdoor area. As part of a fire safety assessment, you are required to identify all forms of fuel and ignition in your venue and the measures that have been adopted to control these. 
  3. Always consider the location of your outdoor area, if your venue is near residential properties or businesses noise control is going to have to be top of your priorities, if your outdoor area is too loud this may have a negative impact on people living and working in the area.
  4. Make sure to have a member of staff monitoring the area at all times to make sure the noise is kept at an acceptable level at all times, especially at times when the venue may be busier.
  5. Consider how your customers get to and from the outdoor area, if it is through the main door this generally can cause problems as a constant flow of people in and out the front doors is not a good look for your venue, if possible have an alternative route to get to the outdoor area
  6. Be prepared for the weather – this is especially important for venues in Ireland considering how temperamental our weather tends to be it’s important that your outdoor area provides some sort of shelter from the rain
  7. Get creative – with the smoking ban introduction to Ireland it gave venues the opportunity to get creative with their outdoor space, there are a huge amount of excellently designed outdoor areas around Ireland each with their own unique twist.  
  8. Wildlife – this is especially important if your outdoor area serves food, by having plants and flowers around this increases the number of wildlife that will be attracted to your venue. While aesthetically they may look great, there’s nothing worse than swatting flies and bees away while trying to eat food!